Report: Leafs considering major insult to John Tavares

This would be a major slap in the face!

Michael W.

Since his arrival in Toronto as the famed prodigal son in 2018, John Tavares has taken on the role of team leader of the Maple Leafs, and was named captain in his second season with the franchise. It marked the second time in his career that he's worn the C on his sweater, as he previously served in the same role with the New York Islanders. 

But with only one season remaining on his contract and speculation building about his future with the franchise, is there a chance that the team is already looking to move on? 

According to analyst Nick Kypreos, the Leafs are reportedly contemplating stripping Tavares of the captaincy and giving it to superstar goal scoring forward Auston Matthews instead: 

"From what I’m hearing, the Leafs are contemplating taking the captaincy away from him and giving it to Auston," he said. "They will talk about it. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but it’s real."

As you know, Tavares and the Maple Leafs have only been able to advance past Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on one occasion during his tenure with the club, and it was thanks to his overtime goal in Game 6 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Quarter Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Other notable players who have had the captaincy stripped away from them in recent memory include Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings (after leading them to a pair of Stanley Cup victories in three years) and both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks. 

If the Leafs do in fact take the captaincy away from Tavares, would this signal that his days with Toronto are officially numbered? 

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Source: Leafs Latest